The Eagle River area has its fair share of pine and needle-bearing trees, but our deciduous trees are already popping bright and deep colors this fall. While you can take that Instagram-worthy photo in our neck of the woods any time of the year, those autumn colors don’t need a filter.
September is the time for taking the long way back to your cabin or just another loop around the lake. We’d recommend going for a fall color driving tour and hitting the trails by boot or bike. Our ATV/UTV routes offer another great option for taking in those bright yellows, deep reds, and vibrant oranges that dominate the fall landscape.
Ranking fall color sites against each other is like ranking your favorite parent or child. The Eagle River area provides hundreds of acres of tree-lined roads, trails, and lakeshores. How do you choose which one is “best”? We thought it might be best to offer a few suggestions on ways to capture the best colors and tips on getting that long-lasting photo.
Tips for Photographing the Best Colors
The sun isn’t out for long in the fall, but it sure does help direct some of the best scenes you’ll get this time of year. If you’re taking photos – and we recommend that you do! – remember to shoot in the opposite direction the sun is in the sky. In the morning, that means looking west and in the evening shooting east. Of course, photographing directly at the sun during a sunrise or sunset are exceptions to this rule. The sun will always be in the southern half of the sky, so drives and hikes heading north should yield great fall color visibility.
Memorable Drives and Hikes
Taking some of those tips into consideration, driving straight north up Hwy. 45 can offer some great sun-exposed leaves. A 45-minute ride gets you to Bond Falls, where a 50-foot waterfall can serve as the centerpiece to a picturesque fall day. Head west to Copper Peak for a view 469-feet above the top of an old ski hill that includes 2,500 square miles of visible terrain in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Lake Superior. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, get ready to fill a few pages of stories with this trip.
Closer to Eagle River, find yourself a hiking trail near a lake at sunrise or sunset. When it comes to breathtaking views, there’s just something to be said for the sun hovering above a colorful tree-lined lake. Boardwalks can also provide memorable shots during fall hiking and biking excursions. We like the Four Women Boardwalk and the Black Spruce Boardwalk on the Three Eagle Trail.
Peak Color Time
We can’t promise when colors will be at their best. But we can give you current conditions and our best guess for peak color with the fall color report. For those who can’t wait to plan their excursion, we recommend the last week in September and the first week in October. As always, the area has a variety of overnight options. Keep in mind that popular events like Cranberry Fest in the first weekend in October can make it more difficult to find lodging.
Coloring Outside the Lines
If the colors themselves don’t bring you to our neck of the woods, we encourage you to check out all there is to see and do in the Eagle River area this fall. From golf outings and bicycle rides to markets and festivals, this harvest season offers a cornucopia of activities for everyone.
We hope to see you in our little slice of heaven this fall!
Fall Colors: See the Best Eagle River has to offer
Need more colorful visuals before planning your fall trip to Eagle River? This month’s Field Notes will inspire a few must-see destinations and exciting activities to see autumn colors.